Use It or Lose It - Four Ways Resellers Can get the Most from Marketing Funds

Posted: 12/13/2012 by Leslie Sutherland

Fund Programs, whether Market Development Funds (MDF) or Co-op, are a good way for resellers to increase sales via joint marketing activities with their vendors while sharing the cost. Cost sharing helps reduce the financial burden for marketing activities and helps open doors for additional marketing opportunities that might not otherwise be available due to cost. In many cases, vendors have better name recognition than the resellers and can support marketing not only with financial incentives like funds, but also with other domain expertise such as technical or business resources.

Clearly there are a lot of advantages to MDF and Co-op program participation. So why is it that so few resellers spend their funds?

Ease of Participation is Key
There is one primary reason that MDF and Co-op utilization tends to be low: ease of participation. If you are a reseller and the vendor program design is “high maintenance,” requires a lot of time to participate, or has a number of hoops to jump through, you may not even want to initiate a proposal or claim. In these time-strapped days, you may rather be earning money on services for an existing customer than bother with a program that takes too much time and attention to manage.

MDF and Co-op Program Best Practices
So, be sure to check out the vendor MDF and Co-op program process and requirements before you get started. Here are some things to look for:

1.Track and Manage Funds – Is there an easy way to access, track and manage funds online? For instance, what was spent, how much is left, and what upcoming balances are expiring?
2.Self-Service – Do they have an automated, self-service process for prior and claim creation, submission and status?
3.Regular Updates – Does the vendor automatically send you email reminders and notifications with statuses?
4.Claims Management – Can you upload receipts, invoices and documentation related to a prior or claim rather than faxing and emailing?

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